Pancake Day is the perfect excuse to tuck into a stack of golden pancakes – but there’s no need to just stick with the classic British lemon and sugar. We’ve found some great alternatives – here’s how pancakes are eaten in 10 different countries around the world…
Want more inspiration for Shrove Tuesday? Check out our selection of sweet and savoury pancake recipes.
Crêpes are large, thin pancakes made by swirling batter in an oiled pan. Watch our how to make pancakes video to see the technique in action – try the traditional air flip or use a spatula if you’d rather not risk your ceiling!
Achieve the perfect crêpes with our easy pancakes recipe and serve as a delicious dessert, smothered in a caramelised sugar, butter and orange sauce with our classic recipe for crêpes Suzette. We’ve also got more variations on this French classic in our crêpe recipes collection.
Light, fluffy and small in diameter, pancakes in America are often served as a stack with fruit fillings and sweet toppings for dessert, or with crispy bacon and maple syrup for breakfast. Baking powder or beaten egg whites are mixed into the batter, which is dropped into an oiled pan a ladleful at a time and cooked in batches.
Watch a demonstration in our video guide to making American pancakes. Get started with American blueberry pancakes, or make a brunch time feast of banana pancakes with crispy bacon and syrup. Also check out more fabulously fluffy American pancake recipes.
Okonomiyaki are a Japanese savoury pancake, typically made from a flour base combined with a mixture of shredded potato, cabbage, seafood, ginger and soy. Garnish with toppings of your choice and drizzle over a sweet mirin and honey sauce.
In contrast, these soufflé-style stacks of Japanese fluffy pancakes make a light and bouncy alternative. Cook them in crumpet rings to create a raised effect and pile up high before slathering in your favourite sauce.
Explore more of this cuisine with our Japanese recipes, including sushi, katsu and noodle dishes.
Blini and blintz are two types of Russian pancakes. Traditionally, blini are yeasted and contain a rising agent, resulting in a fluffier texture, while blintzes are thinner and are generally wrapped around a filling. Mini blinis are especially good topped with soured cream and smoked salmon or caviar – try these beetroot blinis with smoked salmon as a party nibble, or cut this giant buckwheat blini into slices.
If you’re after a fruitier Russian treat, try our apple and blueberry blintzes.
A popular takeaway favourite – our crispy duck pancake recipe is so tasty and super-quick to whip up, so you won’t have to reach for the phone! Serve with a rich plum sauce and sprinkle of fresh cucumber and spring onion.
Want to try a twist on this classic? Swap duck for chicken, served over steamed pancakes in a sweet and sticky hoisin sauce. Also check out more Chinese fakeaway recipes for homemade versions of popular classics like sweet & sour, chow mein and salt & pepper chicken.
Grated potato pancakes, called raggmunk, are often served with fried pork and lingonberries in Sweden. Alternatively, try these potato & dill pancakes with gravadlax for a scrummy salmon brunch or supper.
Scotch pancakes, also known as drop scones, are similar in size and shape to American pancakes but often a little denser. They are typically enjoyed as an afternoon tea treat, spread with butter and jam. Or try our simple Scotch pancakes recipe for an indugent breakfast, drizzled with a liberal helping of butter and maple syrup.
To turn Scotch pancakes into a delicious dessert, see our recipe for strawberry compote with sugared drop scones. After a savoury snack? Make a break from tradition with our rosemary & olive drop scones with goat’s cheese.
So-called ‘German pancakes’ are also known as ‘Dutch babies’, a name which originated in the USA. To make these bowl-shaped popovers, pancake batter is poured into a cast-iron pan over the stove, and then baked in the oven, so that it puffs up like a Yorkshire pudding. Serve up a fabulous brunch with our comforting ham & cheese Dutch baby pancakes or for a sweet option, try Dutch baby pancake with drunken cherries.
In Germany, flat pancakes, which are thicker than crêpes, are also common, often with apple slices laid in the batter, or rolled with chunky fruit compotes. For a savoury version, try this German-inspired cheese and bacon topping.
Schmarren, or scrambled pancakes, are a popular dessert in Austria and Germany. Also know as ‘kaiserschmarren’, they are named after the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I, who was known to enjoy this sweet shredded pancake dish. Make our version of schmarren with raisins and rum for a comforting pudding, best served with thick cream.
The Italian take on a crêpe is a crespelle, often made using chestnut flour instead of all wheat. They can be rolled and stuffed with savoury fillings such as cured meats, vegetables and cheese.
Try our recipe for pancake cannelloni for an Italian-inspired Shrove Tuesday supper.
A dosa is a traditional pancake in South India. These thin, savoury delicacies are made from fermented rice and lentil batter, and are called masala dosa when stuffed with a spicy potato curry. Serve up a comforting vegan supper of our delicious dosa recipe with a South Indian aloo masala stuffing.
For a lighter option, try the Sri Lankan speciality of hoppers. These cripsy, bowl-shaped pancakes are made with coconut milk and rice flour. Fill them with a mouthwatering mix of punchy sambol and fruit chutney or alongside fried chicken bites.
These small spherical pancake balls are called ‘aebleskiver’ in Danish and are traditionally made in a special aebleskiver pan, but you can make them in a frying pan as mini bun-type pancakes. Inspired by the Nordic principle of ‘hygge’, we’ve created a comforting version of this national dish, featuring buttermilk pancakes spiked with blood orange and cardamom. Bursting with citrusy flavour, these tasty aebleskiver are sure to brighten up a dark winter’s day!
Spice it up for Shrove’s Tuesday with these scrumptious savoury red pepper and melty cheese quesadilla pancakes. Load them high with avocado, cumin-spiced mashed beans and crispy lettuce for a super-satisfying supper.
Put on a feast with more of our flavour-packed Mexican recipes, including tacos, tortillas, fajitas, burritos and quesadillas.
Soft and slightly chewy, roti jala are savoury pancakes that often include turmeric to give a golden-yellow colour and are served as a side dish. They are poured into an oiled pan using a special scoop with several holes in the bottom, or squeezed from a plastic bottle to create the traditional ‘net’ pattern. Perfect for soaking up sauces from curries and stews – dip in!
Try our recipe for roti jala (Malaysian net pancakes).
Finely sliced vegetables, shredded meat or seafood are pan-fried and covered in batter to make Korean pancakes called jeon. These savoury pancakes are often served with a dipping sauce, and are eaten as a starter or snack.
Try this Korean-style prawn & spring onion pancake for a savoury Shrove Tuesday supper.
Get more perfect pancake inspiration…
Which country’s cuisine takes your fancy? Leave a comment below…